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The Osceola Chamber Advocacy

The Osceola Chamber is your voice for change, speaking out for reforms that will create jobs, attract investment to our region, improve your bottom line and build a promising future for our families and future generations. We have been, and will continue to be, actively engaged on a wide range of issues during legislative sessions and between. The Osceola Chamber’s Government Advisory Committee identifies issues facing our business community and region. It provides education and advocacy on the priorities to its membership so they may participate in the process of government in the local, state and federal levels.

Osceola Update

 

Every year The Osceola Chamber hosts our Osceola Update, featuring an update on the most recent Florida legislative session from the state House and Senate representatives whose districts include parts of Osceola County, and a keynote speaker with information important to the economic development and landscape of Osceola County.  Our 2024 Osceola Update, held on June 18, 2024 at Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, included a presentation from Florida Department of Transportation Director of Development, District 5, Jack Adkins. and an appearance from Congressman Darren Soto.

View the FDOT Presentation from the 2024 Osceola Update.

Read more about the 2024 Osceola Update on our blog.

Legislative Priority Statement

The Osceola Chamber looks to continue to help the School District of Osceola County maintain the provisions for the Funding Compression Allocation provided in the FEFP to support more equitable resources for students in districts with below average dollars per student.

Maintain the provisions for the District Cost Differential provided in the FEFP based on a three-year average of the Florida Price Level Index generating 80% of the allocation rather than adopting a different wage index methodology.

Increase funding from cuts that would impact schools and allow funds to be spent on all instructional personnel when districts meet the minimum state salary for all classroom teachers.

Seek accelerated critical high-wage degree programs, as well as technical programs that will directly benefit economic growth in Osceola County.

Fund expansion of the I-4 corridor, including vehicular and multi-modal improvements (including rail access) through Osceola County.

Accelerate funding and implementation of improvements for U.S. Route 192 to address critical safety and congestion issues adversely impacting access into Osceola County and ongoing rapid economic development.

Support the City of Kissimmee’s strategic plans with the Kissimmee Gateway Airport and any expansion plans that can attract economic development into Osceola County.

Support the funding of road expansions that alleviate residential and business burden due to the growth of residents in Osceola County.

By way of The Osceola Chamber Foundation’s Health Leadership Council, which is comprised of a public and private partnership with the Florida Department of Health, The Osceola Chamber fully supports legislative strategies that provides funding for the community health improvement plan. Said plan includes; Health Care Access; Substance Abuse Prevention and Mental Health Services.

The Osceola Chamber supports any comprehensive property insurance legislation designed to address Florida’s escalating insurance costs. While these reforms are being implemented, we urge lawmakers to continue to explore solutions to Florida’s insurance problems and to support sensible legislation that balances the need for property insurance relief with measures that ensure Florida’s insurance industry remains healthy and competitive.  

The central Florida region and specifically Osceola County continues to experience record-high population growth. This growth is good for the economy and has paved the way for the diversification of the county’s workforce, at the same time, this has and continues to fuel the demand for robust housing product. The Osceola Chamber supports any action by the legislature that can help alleviate the shortage of materials for builders, so housing can be attainable for the residents of Osceola County.

Although there is no silver bullet solution to housing affordability, The Osceola Chamber supports finding unique ways to make it easier for additional supply to enter the market that will ensure that housing is and remains attainable for all Osceola County residents. By way of example, studio and one-bedroom apartments offer an attractive and attainable housing option for many workforce professionals such as nurses, firefighters, EMTs, and teachers. Units of this size are an essential component to diverse and robust housing stock and are a much-needed product type in Osceola County.

We support economic fairness to all parties in Osceola County to include but not limited to greater high-speed broadband access to citizens for education, business, health care, and agriculture that will have positive impacts for the economy and daily life.

The Osceola Chamber will continue to protect trust funds at the state level that support the funding of workforce housing.

Government Advisory Committee

Rebekah Hurd (Chair)
Advent Health

Adrianna Sekula
Solidarity Partners

Chris Carmody
GrayRobinson, P.A

Dan Pollock
AT&T

Don Whyte
Deseret Cattle & Citrus

Elizabeth Watkins
Walt Disney World Resorts

Hector Lizasuain
Magic Companies Group LLC

Ilia Torres Garcia
Universal Orlando Resorts

Keith Trace
Headquarters Coworking

Lee Steinhauer
Greater Orlando

Marc Reicher
Champions Gate Gold Resort

Maritza Martinez Guerrero
Orlando Magic

Michelle Strenth
Orlando Health

Sarah Nemes
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Spencer Pylant
TECO Energy

Thearon Scurlock
Old Town Kissimmee

Tim Weisheyer
Dream Builders Realty

Tom Franklin Sr.
KPM Franklin

Tom White
Bank Florida

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